We departed on Saturday morning to a crowd of cheering friends and family, after christening the gypsy wagon with good Whitlock Red wine! We passed by the Harbor where the ukulele crowd was playing and probably 100 ukers in easter party hats filed in and out of the wagon in 10 minutes!
Pinnacles National Monument was the destination for the day- a nice short drive- and the scenery out the windows was long green waving grasses under the new-leaved spreading oaks. We actually were so exhausted after the last few days of pushing to be ready to leave that we took a nap before heading out on a walk up the arroyo from the campsite. Goldfields, lupine, ranunculas, wild cucumber, poppies, Chinese pagodas and larkspur were just a few of the many blooming wildflowers we saw on the walk. I was also so happy to see children running wild in the tall grass in the oak forest. How free they were, not a sight I see much at home, where parents are too worried to let kids out by themselves.
On Sunday morning, the grass was icy outside, and the only noise was the turkey vultures unfolding their wings and readying themselves to rise back up to the ridge where they will spend the day riding the updrafts off the arroyo. After tea and granola, we expected to go walking in the park again. But our neighbors stopped by and in a fashion we expect to occur many times this trip, we got to talking about the gypsy wagon. Tim is a photographer with a lot of Photoshop knowledge, so he was able to teach Peter how to create a panoramic photo by merging three photos into one. So above you see the gypsy wagon interior.
We expected to drive clear down to Carrizo Plain, but with another interruption by curious folks in the one-house town of Lonoak (the other photo above), by lunchtime we had gone so few miles, a fraction of the total distance. Rain came next, and we decided to plunge into the next plan of the trip, which is to beg for a place to park the wagon for the night. Peter is so much braver than I. I stayed in the truck and peered at him talking to a landowner who just happened to drive up to her driveway as we decided we didn’t want to drive much further.
As a result of Peter’s fearlessness, we are now camping in a pullout at the top of a hill on a one-lane road, with a view for miles of oak grassland and round bumpy hills. The rain is falling on the roof, we are dry and out the window a family of quail is scuttling around in the wet grass.